The Party of European Socialists (PES) criticised Prime Minister Robert Fico’s statements about Islam and threatened his and his Smer party with sanctions, including suspension of Smer’s membership in the PES, the Pradva daily wrote on June 18.
Smer did not react officially but Smer MEP Vladimír Maňka opined there is no reason for sanctions.
In the June 16 stance of PES leadership, they resolutely condemned the recent statement of Robert Fico concerning the role of Islam in Slovakia. They also expressed fears and serious questions about his policy towards refugees and minorities, especially the LGBTI community, Pravda wrote.
At the end of May, Fico repeated his tough rhetoric from before the general election that he does not wish “a compact Islamic community” in Slovakia, adding that he does not want several dozens of thousands of Muslims who will gradually push through their own interests,” Fico said, according to the teraz.sk website. He said, “We do not want to change the character of the country which is based on the traditions of Cyril and Methodius; on something that has been present here for centuries”.
Europeasn socialists expect Fico to explain and re-assess his positions and also that Slovakia, as country soon to preside the EU, will design a clear programme for a strong and unified Europe. PES will launch the process of observing Smer, and if no progress is recorded, proposals for sanctions will come, including suspended membership of Smer in PES.
Maňka reacted by saying that Smer considers the segregation of the Roma community unacceptable, just as it deems the segregation of people from other cultures who arrive to Slovakia unacceptable. He stressed, however, that those who come shall be integrated, and not live in a ghetto. The Smer MEP summed up that his party’s stance is firm and clear "but there is always someone who sends distorted infromation to Brussels and tries to find ways to supress Smer," accoridng to Pravda. He added that Smer wants to further explain and communicate with European Socialists.
20. Jun 2016 at 14:56 | Compiled by Spectator staff